The Rule of Belief: A Declaration of the Creed

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Card. Bellarmine’s Short Catechism


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Student:  Which is the Rule of Belief?

Teacher:  It is the Symbol of the Apostles, which we commonly call the Apostles Creed.

 

Student:  Say the Creed.

Teacher:

I.

I. I believe in God the Father almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth.

I believe in God, The Father almighty,
Creator of Heaven and earth.

II.

Creed 2 And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, Our Lord.

And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, Our Lord.

III.

Creed 3. Who was conceived of by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary,

Who was conceived of by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,

IV.

Creed 4 who was crucified under Pontius Pilate, suffered, died, and was buried.

Suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.

V.

Creed 5 He descended into hell; and on the third day He rose again from the dead.

He descended into hell; and
on the third day He rose again from the dead.

VI.

Creed 6 Ascended into Heaven and sits at the right hand of the Father Almighty.

He ascended into Heaven, sits at the right hand of the Father almighty

VII.

Creed 7 from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.

From thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.

VIII.

Creed 8 I believe in the Holy Spirit

I believe in the Holy Spirit,


IX.

Creed 9 in the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints

the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints,


X.

Creed 10 the forgiveness of sins

the forgiveness of sins,
[ed. note: older texts say “the remission of sins.”]


XI.

Creed 11 resurrection of the flesh

the resurrection of the dead,
[“resurrection of the flesh”]


XII.

Creed 12 Life Everlasting

and Life Everlasting. Amen.

 

Student:  Who made the Creed?

Teacher:  The twelve Apostles and therefore be twelve articles.

 

Student:  What do these articles contain in sum?

Teacher:  All that which principally and expressly we must believe of God, and of the Church His spouse; because the eight first articles pertain to God, the four last to the Church.

 

Student:  Declare the first article.

Teacher:  I firmly believe in only one God, who is the natural father of His only begotten Son, and is also Father by grace of all good Christians, who are therefore called the sons of God, finally, He is the Father by creation of all things. And this God is Omnipotent, because He can do all that He will, and has created out of nothing Heaven and earth, with whatsoever is in them, that is, the whole universal world.

 

Student:  Declare the second article.

Teacher: I believe also in Jesus Christ, who is the only begotten son of God the Father, because he was begotten of the same father eternally, and is God eternal, infinite, omnipotent, Creator, and Lord of us, and all things, as is the Father.

 

Student: Declare the third.

Teacher: I believe that Jesus Christ is not only true God but also true man, because He has taken man’s flesh of the immaculate Virgin Mary by virtue of the Holy Spirit in so was born in Earth of mother without father, as in Heaven was born of Father without mother.

 

Student: Declare the fourth article.

Teacher: I believe that Jesus Christ, to redeem the world with his precious blood, suffered under Pontius Pilate, Governor of Iudea, being scourged, crowned with thorns, and put upon the Cross, on which He died, and taken down from the same was buried in a new sepulcher.

 

Student: Declare the fifth.

Teacher: I believe that Jesus Christ, as soon as he was dead, went with his soul to the limbo or place of holy fathers, and on the third day, which was the Sunday, He rose glorious and triumphant.

 

Student: Declare the sixth.

Teacher: I believe that Jesus Christ, after He had 40 days remained with the holy apostles, to prove with many apparitions His true resurrection, ascended to the highest heaven, there above all the choirs of angels, at the right hand of the Father, that is, in glory equal to the Father, is Lord and Governor of all creatures.

 

Student: Declare the seventh.

Teacher:  I believe that the same Our Lord, in the end of the world, shall come from Heaven with most great power and glory, shall judge all men, giving to every one the reward or punishment that he has deserved.

 

Student: Declare the eighth.

Teacher:  I believe in the Holy Spirit, who is the third person of the most Blessed Trinity, precedes from the Father and the Son, and is in all and everything equal to the Father, and to the Son; that is, He is God, eternal, infinite, omnipotent, Creator, and Lord of all things, as the Father and  the Son.

 

Student:  Declare the ninth.

Teacher:  I believe also that there is a Catholic Church, which is the congregation of all faithful Christians that are baptized, do believe and confess the faith of Christ our Lord, and acknowledge the high bishop of Rome, the Pope, for the Vicar of the same Christ in earth.

 

Student: This Church — why is it called Holy and Catholic?

Teacher:  Holy because it has the head, which is Christ, holy; and for that it has many holy members, and the Faith, and Law, and Sacraments holy; and it is called Catholic, that is universal.

 

Student:  What signifies the Communion of Saints?

Teacher:  It signifies the prayers and good works, that are done in the Church; even as in a man’s body all members be partakers of the good of one member.

 

Student: Declare the tenth.

Teacher: I believe that in the holy Church there is the true forgiveness [remission] of sins, by means of the holy Sacraments, and that in the same, men, once children of the devil and condemned to death, become the children of God, and the heirs of paradise.

 

Student:  Declare the eleventh.

Teacher:  I believe that in the end of the world all men shall rise, taking again same bodies, which before they had, and this by the power of God, to Whom nothing is impossible.

 

Student: Declare the last article.

Teacher: I believe that for good Christians there is everlasting life full of all felicity and free from all sort of evil; and on the contrary: for infidels and for evil Christians, there’s eternal death, replenished with all misery, and void of all good.

 

Student: what do you mean by “Amen”?

Teacher: I mean,”so it is in truth.”

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This catechism was created in 1614 by doctor of the church, Cardinal Robert Bellarmine. It is richly illustrated with images to assist learning and memory.

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